Wednesday, January 28, 2009

February's Featured Rider: Claire Buchar

Claire Buchar is Canada's fastest female downhiller. Claire consistently places in the top ten at World Cup downhill races, and she finished 8th overall in the series in 2008. She's part of the Canadian DH Girls with Katrina Strand, and has spent this winter training and racing in Australia. But Claire is more than just an incredible athlete--she's a talented artist and is super smart about marketing herself within the bike industry. Read on for proof. --FF

Name: Claire Buchar (soon to be Kovarik!)
Home: Whistler, Canada and North Brisbane, Australia
Age: 30
Favorite type of riding: DH, dirt jumping, XC
Why you ride: Fun, traveling, challenge, fun, adventure, fun
Sponsors:, Sombrio, Maxxis, Smith, Crank Brothers, Dakine, Evolution Bike Shop, Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Both my parents were athletes, my dad especially. He used to race motocross and was on the Czech National Alpine Ski Team. He is now 72 and still rips on his moto in the backcountry of Squamish, BC. I guess I got his blood. As lanky as I was (still am!), I was always good at sports. As a kid, I dreamed of being an athlete. I didn’t care what kind. I used to pretend I was winning races of all sorts and even clothes-lined myself on my homemade backyard finish line!

However, I didn’t pick up a mountain bike until I was about 20 years old. And naturally, I had to try racing. I finished 2nd at my first National Champs in 2002 and was selected for the Canadian National Team which, at the time, I didn’t even know existed! I’ve never looked back.

My bike has taken me all over the globe, from Chile and Peru to Croatia and Slovenia, from Scotland and Ireland to New Zealand and Australia. I’ve been on the craziest adventures with all
sorts of crazy people and even met my very near future husband, fellow racer and rider Chris Kovarik, through one of those adventures! It’s been really cool and I feel privileged to be able to live this lifestyle. However, it absolutely did not come without serious hard work, determination, passion, drive and sacrifice. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I genuinely enjoy riding my bike. I am currently spending my winter in summer! Chris and I are in Australia for the off season and the riding here is pretty sick. The XC is flowy and addicting and there are some world-class DH tracks to get going fast on. It’s quite different from the riding we have back in BC or in Europe, in addition to the fact that you have to dodge extremely venomous snakes. I like riding different styles of terrain. I think it helps you become adaptive to any situation. The area we are in is a bit lacking of my favorite thing--dirt jumps, but our buddy has a pumptrack in his back yard and sometimes we hit up the skatepark for a little play.

Besides all of that, I decided to go back to my roots……art! I’m getting smart at graphic design school. It’s pretty full on, but I’m stoked.

No comments: